cheap chinese arduino clone's

Discussion in 'Software and Programming' started by stragenmitsuko, Dec 29, 2016.

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  1. Dec 29, 2016 #1

    stragenmitsuko

    stragenmitsuko

    stragenmitsuko

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    After reading various topics about the arduino controlled dividing head ,
    and after being reassured by some other members that the programming
    of the arduino isn't that hard at all , I decided to give it a try .

    Here are my first experiances , snags hit , and some random thoughts .

    First thing I did was get me an arduino for dummies .
    Buy it , or search for it on the net . There are pdf's and epubs out there to read it on a tablet
    It starts at the very possiblest basic entry level , sometimes a little to basic even for a dummy like me :) , and guides you trough the setup and uploading a sketch . Then some basic proramming with increasing difficulty .

    duino0.jpg
     
  2. Dec 29, 2016 #2

    stragenmitsuko

    stragenmitsuko

    stragenmitsuko

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    After reading the book , it was time to actually get me an arduino .
    Searched my favorite auction site and found this :

    Arduino Uno (clone) 4.68$
    LCD and button shield 3.30$
    I2C lcd interface 1.10 $
    All with shipping included , I like that .
    So I spend a whopping 9.10$ for the electronics .
    Won't go broke , even if I can't get it to work right :)

    I opted for an arduino uno with a mini usb instead of the normal square and pretty large usb .
    This way I can power the board with a phone charger .

    The lcd button shield is needed for the rotary controller to work , or at least to experiment with the software .

    The small pcb is a kind of serial to parallel adaptor , allowing you to drive an LCD with only two lines , thus freeing up
    several lines to do other things .
    Not all dividing programs will need this , but I ordered it just in case .
    The button shield and the I2C adaptor cannot be used together as they are . If ever I get that far I will elaborate

    Downside of the cheap shipping is that it takes close to 4 weeks to get here .

    duino1.jpg
     
  3. Dec 29, 2016 #3

    stragenmitsuko

    stragenmitsuko

    stragenmitsuko

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    So deep breath , and go for it .

    Installing the software ( IDE ) is pretty straightforward as explained in the book .

    Hookup the arduino board and ...... nothing .
    The software won't talk to the board .
    Windows won't install or can't find the right driver .
    Trying to force it , after all I do have an arduino uno right , doesn't help .

    The reason is the chinese clone uses a different usb chip , and the drivers trhat come with the arduino software are not compatible with this chip .
    If you have a chip marked CH340 on your chinese board , you'll need this driver .

    The driver will assign a com port to your arduino .
    In my case it was com3 .

    Tell the arduino software you have an arduino uno on COMx and it should be good to go .

    Then I hit another snag .
    When i tried again , I used a different usb port on my laptop , and suddenly it was com4 instead of com3 . Not a big problem , just replug it , or reconfigure the software to use com4 . But once again , it took me a while to figure it out

    View attachment ch341ser.zip
     
  4. Dec 29, 2016 #4

    stragenmitsuko

    stragenmitsuko

    stragenmitsuko

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    Once you get the communication going , time to upload the first sketch .
    It's all very wel document in the book .

    Hell yeah , I managed to make a led blink :thumbup: , I'm a programmer now .WOW
    Wel not in the least , but it sure felt that way


    Then i installed the button shield , and tested it with a few sample sketches that drive the lcd and test the buttons .
    Google for lcd button shield , see if you can identify your shield and download the test software for it . I found at least 3 different versions , you'll have to identify yours on sight .

    So I eagerly plugged in the shield , uploaded the test sketch - hey I'm a programmer remember - and once again .... nothing happend .
    The backlight goes on with a beautiful blue glow , so that's ok . But no text , no reaction to the buttons being pressed .

    Damn , the "programmer " in me suddenly got a lot smaller .

    Until I noticed a small trim potentiometer on the upper left corner of the shield . This is the contrast adjustement .
    Yep that does it , turned it up and the letters start to appear .
    Silly isn't it , but for a total noob ....


    That 's it for now , to be continued .

    duino2.jpg

    duino3.jpg
     
  5. Dec 30, 2016 #5

    Rex

    Rex

    Rex

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    I got a Arduino clone kit for Christmas, so this is timely. I'll be following along.
     
  6. Dec 30, 2016 #6

    bmac2

    bmac2

    bmac2

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    Hi stragen
    First thing I bought was an Arduino development kit and soon after came the Arduino for Dummies book. A lot of people say to stay away from the Chinese clones but I’ve been messing around with them for about a year now and have had no problems at all that I didn’t cause. Locally the cheapest I can get an Arduino Uno is around $35.00 and at Banggood there going for $5.67 Canadian peso’s with free shipping and no taxes. Of course the down side is that nothing comes with a manual and takes a month to arrive.

    Have fun Bob
     

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